The Padstow Arts Festival 2009

Opening Welcome
Edward Clark
Festival Producer

This is a festival about England and the traditions of England.

In this opening concert we go back 500 years to hear the music of Thomas Tallis.  Can anyone tell me of a tradition that goes back 500 years and remains untouched?  The singing by the Truro Cathedral Choir represents exactly that.  Our great English cathedral choirs are unique in the world. Without them we would lose something very special that helps to define the meaning of being English.  We must protect the future of our choir schools.

Coming forward to the 20th century our festival celebrates two giants who promoted our English traditions and culture, Malcolm Arnold and John Betjeman.  In their own way they offered a rich tapestry of the English way of life that was under increasing threat from many quarters.  Without their example of standing up for English virtues we would be immeasurably poorer.

Then we have this delightful and beautiful town of Padstow, a little gem among English fishing ports that always dispenses a warm welcome to its many visitors.

This, then, is a festival about beauty, pride and our national soul.  Please enjoy our events and let’s hope for many more such festivals in the future.